Kansas State University


Johnson Cancer Research Center Newsletter


A Big Step in Cancer Detection

Imagine going to your doctor’s office for your annual checkup and having a simple and affordable blood test tell you in less than an hour whether you have a type of cancer or neurodegenerative disease. Chemistry professors Stefan Bossmann and Chris Culbertson have developed a device that does just that.

read story (from KSU Foundation’s Good For K-State magazine)


Making MRIs Safer

Santosh Aryal MRI photo from Advanced Science News feature

Dr. Santosh Aryal, chemistry and Nanotechnology Innovation Center of K-State, and his doctoral student Ramesh Marasini and former doctoral student Tuyen Nguyen (now a postdoctoral fellow at MD Anderson Cancer Center), are addressing the urgent need to develop better strategies regarding the use of potentially toxic gadolinium-based contrast agents in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Their work was featured in Advanced Science News. read story


Helping Dogs—and Humans—with Cancer: NCI’s Comparative Oncology Studies

Dr. Raelene Wouda & dog
Dr. Raelene Wouda, clinical sciences

This National Cancer Institute story discusses dog clinical trials that can help dogs and humans. NCI sponsors many dog clinical trials in its network, which includes Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. These institutions’ Comparative Oncology programs treat dogs with cancer while also gaining clues about human cancers. One clinical trial that K-State partners on, involving dogs with osteosarcoma, could help kids with bone cancer.

Learn about K-State’s Center of Excellence for Translational & Comparative Oncology Research.


CRISPR connections: How scientists use genetic technology to improve our world

Dr. Gregory Finnigan

Dr. Gregory Finnigan, biology, was featured in a story about CRISPR gene-editing technology in Seek, K-State’s research magazine. read story



Stefan Bossmann


Stefan Bossmann, chemistry, was named a University Distinguished Professor, K-State’s highest faculty ranking. read more




Dr. Mary Lynn Higginbotham

Mary Lynn Higginbotham, clinical sciences, presented ‘Immunotherapeutic Approaches in Canine Lymphoma’ at BioNexus’s One Health Research Symposium Aug. 29 in Kansas City. read more




Katie Heinrich, kinesiology, was named a fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior. read more




Dr. Takashi Ito


Takashi Ito, chemistry, received the Ervin W. Segebrecht Honorarium Award for excellence in teaching and research in the departments of chemistry and chemical engineering. read more


Dr. Michael Kanost


Michael Kanost, biochemistry and molecular biophysics, received a Commerce Bank and W.T. Kemper Foundation Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award. read announcement




Dr. Zhilong Yang


Zhilong Yang, biology, was awarded a $1.9 million National Institutes of Health grant to study how vaccinia virus—a member of the poxvirus family—produces its proteins. read more



Dr. Michal Zolkiewski


Michal Zolkiewski, microbiology & molecular biophysics, was awarded a $2 million National Institutes of Health grant to develop new antibiotics. read story





2019 K-State Goldwater ScholarsThree undergraduate students who work in Johnson Cancer Research Center affiliated laboratories were named Goldwater Scholars: Erianna Basgall, junior in biochemistry; Mackenzie Thornton, junior in microbiology and pre-medicine; and Gabrielle Phillips, senior in chemical engineering. read more

Fawwaz Naeem, 2018-2019 Cancer Research Awardee


Fawwaz Naeem received the Division of Biology’s H.H. Haymaker Award for Excellence, recognizing graduating seniors who have demonstrated a high level of accomplishment as undergraduates, and who have the promise to continue such high performance in a biological sciences-related career. read more



JCRC Spring Awards and Student Recognition Banquet

Thanks to our generous supporters, we invested $151,833 in K-State cancer research and education last semester! Graduate student support was our main focus that semester. We awarded graduate and post-doctoral students $114,943 in summer stipends and $9,640 for travel. We awarded faculty $27,200 for innovative research projects and laboratory equipment.The awardees are listed on our Faculty and Student Awardee webpages.

Guests at CRA Banquet 2019We honored undergraduate student researchers at our Cancer Research Awards Banquet April 12. Recognized along with the students were their faculty mentors and families, and the donors who made the awards possible. Photos are available in an album on Facebook.


Cancer Journal Club

Cancer Journal ClubThe Cancer Journal Club is a forum for K-State students, faculty and friends interested in hot topics in cancer biology. Undergraduate students are especially encouraged to participate. For each meeting, a professor or graduate student involved in cancer research chooses a high-impact research article in the field of cancer biology for all club members to read, and then leads discussion about it at the meeting. Undergraduate students can elect to present papers to improve their oral presentation skills.

The club generally meets every other week. For more information, contact Dr. Katsura Asano at kasano@ksu.edu.